Chapter 2

"You did what?" Daemon shouted. The glass of wine he held halfway to his mouth shattered in his hand, splashing the dark, rich wine all over his dinner.

Beale started to move closer, but a quick glance from Jaenelle made him turn and leave the dining room instead.

"I went to Terreille," she repeated quietly, slicing another piece of her steak, giving no sign of noticing the growing cold anger next to her on the table.

Daemon snarled softly at her apparent easiness. Unable to sit still, he rose from the table and started to prowl the room behind her. "Damn you, I asked you where you were going this morning, asked you if you needed an escort!"

Jaenelle put down the fork with extreme care and slowly turned to look at him. "I didn't need one." Especially not you, she added to herself. "I'm back, nothing bad happened." Her voice gained a bit of an edge. "I may not wear the Ebony anymore, but I can take care of myself, Prince. You're overreacting."

"You disappeared for most of the day, went to Terreille on your own, without as much as informing someone about where you would be, you- you bring back a Warlord Prince ā€“ a stranger ā€“" Daemon hissed, looking positively outraged, "and you say I'm overreacting?!"

Jaenelle rose from her chair, letting out a sigh, trying to keep an even tone despite Daemon'sā€¦ aggravation. "I told Draca where I was going. If I had told anyone else, I would've had to tell you, and you would want to go with me, no matter what I said. And you can't go back to Terreille."

"I am not a vulnerable child! I'm perfectly-"

"We're not going to discuss this again," Witch cut him off sharply, reaching the limit of her patience.

Daemon hissed, swallowing a protest. Jaenelle swore softly, taking a moment to regain control of her emotions. "I wouldn't have gone if it wasn't important, Daemon. It's not a place where I feel comfortable either."

"You could've taken Lucivar," Daemon insisted, almost sullenly.

"Lucivar would've scared Darin, and he wouldn't have come with me."

Daemon made a strange, irritated noise at the mention of the boy's name. Clearly, he wasn't ready to admit he'd lost the argument yet. He muttered a vicious curse and resumed his prowling. "And why did you bring him with you, Lady? An unknown male, into your home?" he asked, more quietly.

Jaenelle frowned at that. "He's just a child."

"He's a Warlord Prince. A stranger; from Terreille."

He was really fixed on that detail, Jaenelle thought, rolling her eyes. "A boy," she corrected firmly. "Who hasn't even gone through his Birthright Ceremony. I couldn't leave him with those people, Daemon! When he-" she pursed her lips. "I couldn't leave him."

That stopped him in his tracks. "What is that supposed to mean?"

Jaenelle looked away. Deep down she knew that whatever happened next, it would only depend on Darin. But now she wasn't so certain about Daemon's opinion anymore.

She straightened up her shoulders, meeting his eyes. "It means he's my guest for as long as he wishes to stay," she said before leaving the room.


A/N: I'm deeply thankful for all the kind reviews. I've been trying to get back into the mood and the rhythm to write again, so here's another little piece of this story. I still don't know where I'm going with it, though, so... we'll see.

I hope you enjoy!